1 Arm Dumbbell Chest Press
Pectoral Exercises for Men & Women

On this site you can learn the best chest and pectoral exercises. You can use them to strengthen your chest and upper body or tone up flabby arms.

The chest muscles are often referred to as the pectoral muscles (there scientific names are pectoralis major and pectoralis minor).

So pectoral and chest exercises are synonymous. This page talks about working the pecs with the 1 arm dumbbell chest press.

The most popular way to work the pectorals and chest is with 2 dumbbells at the same time; however, when you only use 1 dumbbell at a time you will increase shoulder stability and significantly challenge your core muscles.

When you only have one dumbbell in your hand there is no second dumbbell to counter balance your body, so your core muscles have to work extremely hard to keep your body stabilized.

Here are the instructions.

Chest and Pectoral Exercises:
Flat Bench 1 Arm Dumbbell Chest Press

Starting Position: While lying on a flat bench hold one dumbbell with your palm facing down at chest level. Place your opposite hand on your hip.

Keep your feet facing forwards and firmly on the floor or place your feet on the bench to further increase the stability challenge.

Form: Exhale and press the dumbbell straight towards the ceiling. Hold for a brief second at the top and then slowly lower to the starting position.

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Personal Trainer Tips: Changing your foot placement can also significantly increase the challenge on your core muscles.

Placing your feet on a bench will challenge your core stability more than when your feet are on the floor.

You can further challenge your stability, by lifting your feet off the bench and keeping your hips and knees at 90 degrees. And you can further increase the stability challenge by extending one leg or extending both legs almost to a leg raise position.

Keep Point: The more you challenge your stability, the more the abdominals and lower back muscles must work, which can lead to increased pressure and challenge on the lower back. You should always start with the easiest version and progress only once your master that level.

Make sure you engage your core muscles so that your body remains stable throughout, and move in a slow and controlled manner.

If this exercise is too challenging, you can build up your core by doing the alternating dumbbell chest press on a flat bench.


You can change many different things about arm exercises and upper body exercises to increase your core stability.

Using one dumbbell during chest and pectoral exercises makes your core muscles work much harder.

Increasing your core stability can decrease your risk of injury, support improved posture, and increase athletic and functional performance.

Yours in Health,
Dr. Charles PT/PT

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